As a part of my Eat.Pray.Love. backpacking journey through Asia, I wanted something spiritual and meaningful. Angkor Wat seemed to be a perfect place to recharge my batteries and feed the soul.
How many days to spend
This is probably one of the most asked questions and there is not a perfect solution for everyone. For me, two full days was more than enough. Day 1 I was on the go mode and visited as many temples as I could handle. Day 2 I slowed down and made it more about details, feeling the energy of each temple, allowing myself to sit down and immerse into the atmosphere. Each day I spent about 8 hours in the temples. I also started with the sunrise and ended the visit with the sunset as I thought was a type of a ritual.
How to dress
Remember that you are visiting ancient temples so mind your dress codes. Covered shoulders and pants below your knees are the mandatory outfits for both genders.
As for the shoes make sure, it is something comfortable. I wore flip flops and it was great. Do not wear anything white or light color because it will turn brown red immediately. All temples have brick color dust which I wasn’t able to wash off from my clothes. It was very hot all the time about 90 F (35 C) so covered should probably make your feet swollen.
Until February 1, 2017, the price for 1-day ticket was 20 $ and 40$ for the 3-day pass. Now it is 37$ for a daily pass and 60$ for 3 days.
Quite pricey but if you made it to Seam Reap you want to see the ruins.
What are the must see temples
I’ve been asking myself the same question. However, if you have two days you will be able to see all of them. My absolutely favorite was Bayon. I also really enjoyed some small ones because it is not as crowded. Few times I even found myself completely alone there. It was a magical moment of connecting to the sacred energy and peace. I took off my shoes and walked barefoot. Ancient stones were warm and dusty. A powerful moment of finding your dzen.
One of the temples had a monk sitting on the floor and selling handmade bracelets. At first, I passed by but something made me come back. I sat down next to him as the monk was wrapping a bracelet around my wrist. This tiny old man was so radiant and happy I felt enlighten by his smile. The joyful moment of getting a blessing from a monk made feel that my trip to Seam Reap has more meaning than I, though. I made it here for a reason.
Sunset and sunrise watching
Even though I enjoyed it is requires a lot of waiting and sitting around as well as standing in long lines. It was so crowded that I questioned myself it was worth it. Verdict: if you skip the sunrise/ sunset, it won’t take away your experience of Angkor Wat.